Sara Netanyahu

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Sara Netanyahu
Vice President Joe Biden visit to Israel March 2016-שרה נתניהו) (25279790709().jpg
Netanyahu in 2016
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Israel
Assumed office
31 March 2009
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Preceded by Aliza Olmert
In office
18 June 1996 – 6 July 1999
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Preceded by Sonia Peres
Succeeded by Nava Barak
Personal details
Born Sara Ben-Artzi
(1958-11-05) November 5, 1958 (age 58)
Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel
Spouse(s) Benjamin Netanyahu
Children 2 sons
Alma mater Tel Aviv University
Occupation Educational psychologist
Sara on her father Shmuel Ben-Artzi's lap in 1960.

Sara Netanyahu (Hebrew: שרה נתניהו‎‎; born 5 November 1958) is the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is an educational and career psychologist by profession.[1]


Sara Ben-Artzi (later Netanyahu) was born in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Tiv'on, near Haifa. Her father, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, was a Polish-born Israeli Jewish educator, author, poet and biblical scholar, who died in 2011 at the age of 97. Her mother, Chava (Paritzky), was a sixth-generation Jerusalemite. She attended Greenberg High School in Tiv'on, where she was an outstanding student. She later worked as a reporter for Maariv LaNoar, a weekly magazine for Israeli teenagers. In the Israel Defense Forces, she was a psycho-technical evaluator in the Military Intelligence Directorate ("Aman").[1] Netanyahu completed her BA in psychology at Tel Aviv University in 1984 and her master's degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1996.[1]

Netanyahu married Doron Neuberger in 1980. The couple divorced in 1987.[2] In 1991, she married Benjamin Netanyahu. They have two sons. In 2010, her son Avner won the International Bible Contest award on the national level, and came in third place on the international level.[1] Her brothers are Matanya Ben-Artzi, a professor of mathematics, Hagi Ben-Artzi, a professor of Bible and Jewish Thought, and Amatzia Ben-Artzi, a technology entrepreneur. All three of her brothers were Israel Bible Contest champions.[1]


Netanyahu worked as a psychotechnical evaluator of gifted children at the Institute for Promoting Youth Creativity and Excellence" headed by Dr. Erika Landau, and at a rehabilitation center of the Ministry of Labour. She also worked as an El Al flight attendant.[1]

As Consort of the Premier, Netanyahu chaired Yad b'Yad, an aid organization for abused children and Tza'ad Kadima for children with cerebral palsy. In 2000, she went back to working as an educational psychologist in the psychological service of the Jerusalem Municipality.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sara visit a Bedouin tent in Jordan, 1996

Her work includes psychological diagnoses and treatment for children in the school system and assistance to children from families in distress.[1]


In her husband's first term as Prime Minister, Sara Netanyahu received much media attention, usually negative in tone, due to allegations of poor interpersonal relations. She won a libel case filed against Schocken publishers for falsely maligning her, and a libel suit in 2002 against the local paper "Kol Ha'ir," after two unfounded reports were published about her in the paper's gossip column [3][4] In 2008, Channel 10 reported that during the 2006 Lebanon War, when she travelled to London with her husband for a public diplomacy campaign, she spent a large sum of money on luxuries that was paid for by a donor in London.[5] In response Netanyahu filed a libel suit against the channel.[6][7] As Sara's trip had not been approved by the Knesset's Ethics Committee, her husband was notified by the committee.[8]

In January 2010, Yediot Ahronot reported that the Netanyahu family's housekeeper sued Sara Netanyahu in the Labor Courts of Israel for withholding wages, unfair working conditions and verbal abuse.[9] Netanyahu was sued as of March 2014 by another caretaker and former bodyguard to the family over claims that she was abusive towards him.[10]

In February 2016 a judge in the Jerusalem Labor Court ruled in favor of plaintiff Meni Naftali, who claimed that Sara Netanyahu had created a hostile work environment for him as an employee. The judge awarded him damages of NIS 170,000.[11]